The Bella Center, the epicenter for Copenhagen's COP 15 climate negotiations, can hold 15,000 people, but over 30,000 were given accreditation. The wait to get in can take five or more hours. Below is a 20-second, fast-paced video of the line:
Many climate events take place in other parts of the city. The KlimaForum, a small convention center downtown, hosts numerous talks and presentations. The major squares have also been taken over by a combination of art exhibits and activism (including the Hopenhagen Live Concert).
Copenhagen is 55 degrees north of the equator, and it is December. The days are short, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, and constantly cloudy skies keep the temperature hovering around freezing.
American restaurants such as McDonalds and KFC can easily be found, and Seven-11's are on almost every corner (I planned to meet a friend at the Seven-11 by the City Plaza, but we went to two different Seven-11s on opposite sides of the square). The streets, all of which have dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian spaces, are some of the most pleasant of any city I've ever visited. A weak dollar and a strong Danish Kroner result in very high prices; a cup of coffee can cost six dollars. Below is a video of the scenes from around town that I've passed on my bike.
Meanwhile, behind closed doors within the Bella Center, leaders are debating how to reduce pollution. Without direct access to the negotiations, the rest of us can just wait and hope. Currently, China and the U.S., the world's two largest polluters of carbon dioxide, are locked in an impasse, refusing to give in to each other's demands.
Yesterday I talked about youth empowerment. Tomorrow I will cover businesses and local governments taking action--hopefully including an interview with my governor, Arnold.
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